By Hoor Bader, Grade 12, School of Modern Skill, Dubai

Growing up, Sheikh Zayed was our hero, and until now he is. He united the seven emirates like a great leader, and made us learn that “United we stand, divided we fall.”

He once said: “The UAE Federation was a realistic personification of the hopes and aspirations of the Emirati people.  The federation was the dream of a nation who struggled to build a free society and a glorious future under the banners of justice.  The UAE Federation will play a pioneering role toward the unification of all Arab peoples.  It will serve as a nucleus for a comprehensive Arab unity.”

And yes, none of these sophistications happening nowadays in the UAE are here without him.

He made us believe that our dreams are going to become true one day; from this he made us know how to stick to our dreams emphatically-unequivocally.

He had that special charisma, that special quality, and that special character. Briefly, he was the best!

He said: “The desert environment has taught us to be patient until the land blossoms bestowing its bounties on us.  Thus, we have to be fortitudinous, supporting our odyssey of development and progression to achieve the aspirations of our people.”

He conceived us with the idea that says, “Nothing wrong with a long day hard at work making an honest living.”

He always worked out making us the recipients of happiness – the recipients of unity.

He taught us how to be tough and how to stand up for what we believed in. He always supported us decisively.

Whenever he saw his society wan, he hurried to check what was up.

Despite all the clichés about leaders being rude and caring about themselves always, HH Sheikh Zayed cared about every single detail from his own country and many other countries. He would do anything for anyone; he hated to see the aesthetic side of everything and taught us how to be prolific and productive wherever we work.

The Masjid named Zayed Masjid in Palestine and those Red Crescent collaborators surrounding the whole world supporting others were never found without him, those were some of the Islamic qualities he had and conserved as he said, “We should preserve our traditions and national heritage.  We should stick to our roots and our Arabic and Islamic traditions.” May God bless his soul.

UAE citizens and I will forever keep him as our role model. When he was alive he hung the moon and when he moved to God’s side he gave it to us. And as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “We in the United Arab Emirates, led by my brother, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, are continuing the work begun by the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and our father the late His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in the early 1970s, when they took the first steps towards forming our blessed federation.”

Wherever I walk in the UAE, whenever I raise my head and look up, I find all those buildings and I just smile proudly because I know they are here because of our great leader whose light will never fade.

I will never forget him neither his gratified works. Being proud because I am from the UAE was never a feeling until he came and dived in the hearts, whispered in the ears “Unity”.

My great father I won’t forget you, my prayers are always with you. I am carrying tons of feelings, words can never express. May God bless your indebted soul.

HH Sheikh Zayed is, and will forever be, the lauded leading leader.

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